WORDS BY HEATHER GWYTHER
New TAkeS On TaILorInG
Stuffy? Formal? Dull? Not anymore.
Meet the brands turning tailoring on its head.
All good wardrobes contain tailoring – it’s sartorial life support. You could be wearing a crumpled tracksuit covered in coffee stains and putting on a blazer would make you look entirely unflappable. Pace any party in a full suit and the room will be yours. And tailored trousers work wonders for bums the world over. Sometimes tailoring has a problem, though: being boring.
Muted tones and conventional cuts are all well and good when you want relative anonymity and peace, but what if you’re after glory and all-eyes-on-me attention? Are those concepts and tailoring mutually exclusive? Not in the slightest. You only need to look at the history of tailoring (or more so the history of women wearing tailoring) to realise that, at its core, tailoring is about disruption – and what garners more attention than that?
"PAcE AnY PArtY In A fUlL sUiT And The RooM WiLL bE yOurS"
The ‘disruption’ we’re referring to here is of course the disruption of gender roles. Traditionally, tailoring was a man’s domain. But as the horrors of World War II commenced and men were conscripted, women stepped into the roles they left behind – and their wardrobes (think Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo). Decades later, as women bustled into male-dominated offices, they were wearing one thing: power suits – the 1988 film Working Girl didn’t spring forth out of thin hair, after all. Now, women wearing tailoring is no longer synonymous with women wearing men’s clothes or occupying their roles – we’ve carved out our own niche within it. An element of that niche, however, is the push and pull between its masculine origins and its feminine iterations. And thank heavens: it looks amazing.
This season, as KOIBIRD Brings the Drama, our buy is full to the brim with tailoring. The fact that it features in so many of our beloved brands’ collections is telling: no matter how tailoring is translated in womenswear, it is always a symbol of strength. Whether you play it as cool as Fran Leibowitz in a pale blue double-breasted ANOUKI suit or emit pure sex in a cut-out blazer and matching mini skirt by Lado Bokuchava, you’ll look great – and have the weight of all the women that came before you behind you.
As great as they are, there are subtler ways to bear flesh than donning clothes with cut-outs – like low-waist trousers. Pair these with mules and a grey cashmere jumper that got ever so slightly shrunken in the wash and you will look very sexy.
It’s important not to forget about shirts when we think about tailoring, especially pink shirt dresses – with cut-outs!
A must for anyone obsessed with rhinestones (and drawing attention to their own chest).
Worn with the matching crop top, a massive pair of sunglasses and the highest of heels, these trousers are for turning heads in.
Heads will turn and mouths will drool when you pair this with the matching cut-out blazer.